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Jean-Michel Basquiat skull painting sells for record $110.5m at auction

Sale in New York of painting that depicts a face in the shape of a skull sets a record price for an American artist at auction

An artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold for a record $110.5m at auction in New York.

Sothebys said the sale of Untitled on Thursday night in Manhattan was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction. The 1982 painting depicts a face in the shape of a skull.

The piece was purchased by noted Japanese collector and entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war. He said he plans to display the painting in his museum in Chiba, Japan, after loaning it to institutions and exhibitions around the world.

When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art, said Maezawa.

The previous auction record for the artist was set last May when Untitled, 1982 sold for $57.3m, also to Maezawa.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at age 27.

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